Thursday, September 23, 2010

El Fin

Finally water has returned.  Last time I thought I was dying after 10 days.  Well, this time it was six weeks (maybe more, I don't know I lost count).  It has been a dark time.  I've coped, using a variety of measures, and even managed to do my own laundry.  The thought of doing laundry during a water shortage may be counter-common-sense but it actually lifted up my moods.  Life goes on without water, and laundry is part of it.

During these weeks I've also wrote an editorial bitching about this, and sent it to the Daily News.  Obviously it wasn't published, as I have not bragged about it on the tomzanian.

This had me thinking, most, if not all, problems facing developing nations are very similar to those facing developed nations.  Termite infestation, building roads and bridges, supplying water, saving the economy, inner-city schools, etc. are common problems with surprisingly large number of similarities.  The fact that I didn't have water for six weeks is not something that is so cool and hard core volunteeresque.  It shows that the politicans here suck.

Well enough of complaining!  Party with water!


Kabir said...

Hmm interesting. My (very short so far) time in India is kind of making me think the opposite. Problems here are completely different than in the U.S. Like under the broad "education", they're trying to get more people to go to college or at least complete high school. We're trying to teach people how to read and write their own names. They're worried about income tax hikes. We're just trying to get people an income. (sorry for the "us and them" language, but it's just for simplicity's sake).

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Do you think the problems you face as a teacher in Tanzan are similar to US teacher problems? Are they explained by inept politicians?

TK said...

i've read the post again, and perhaps i should have been more specific. The problems of the people around me that I personally observe seem to be more similar to the problems of developed countries. I would have said otherwise had I been placed in a rural area, where lifestyle is just completely different. In such place, I could imagine teaching them how to read and write their own names, etc. But in an urban place I see students in middle class families (measured by the fact that many have TVs in their homes), and their families strive for employment, further education, etc. And then I take a look at the city, and I see public service problems, such as water, electricity, roads, etc.

Tanzania has received aid for a long time, and is a textbook case for aid dependency. I look around and I wonder where all the money went. Combined that with the fact that the ruling party has not changed since independence and the public's disdain for public officials, I am willing to stand by my original comments but just adding that it's in regards to my personal surroundings/ urban areas in Tanzania.

Of course a certain degree of geographical uniqueness should be taken account, and my subjective view on what "difference" is may be narrower than those of others.

In other words, while I am here I see a lot more familiar problems/challenges than unfamiliar ones.

Thanks for the comment. And of course further thoughts are welcome. I think this question is one I will constantly revisit.